Cedars-Sinai Blog

Hot Flash News Flash

nonhormonal, drug, paroxetine, menopause

Cutting caffeine, alcohol and reducing stress may not be enough, but nonhormonal drug paroxetine may help.

Sleepless nights. Flushed skin. Sudden sweating. Hot flashes are one of the most difficult challenges of menopause.

Diet, exercise, and reduced stress may help fight hot flashes in menopause.

Hormone replacement therapy can help women with menopause, but it may not be the right solution for women who have had breast cancer or whose family medical histories suggest they're prone to blood clots.

Others choose not to use the therapy.

Women can also try cutting caffeine and alcohol intake, reducing stress, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet—but those might not bring relief.

A new, nonhormonal option offers hope, says Dr. Chrisandra Shufelt, director of the Women’s Hormone and Menopause Program at the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center. She called it great news for the 80% of menopausal women who have hot flashes.

Here's an excerpt from her latest #ManagingMenopause post at Lifescript:

The new, nonhormonal drug is paroxetine, a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Breast cancer patients prone to developing hot flashes as a result of cancer treatment reported fewer hot flashes when they took SSRIs to treat depression triggered by their diagnoses.

Looking down the road, more and better treatments will come when medical science fully cracks the mystery of the biological mechanisms of hot flashes.

Currently, scientists think the human body’s central thermostat is in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. It also controls sleep patterns, mood, metabolism, and stress. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter within the hypothalamus, and using a medication to regulate these levels is generating a lot of excitement in the menopause community.

With this new treatment, the nonhormonal drug paroxetine may help put to bed one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and let women say goodnight to sweaty and sleepless nights.